How to use the mission statement generator
If you are looking to write or refine your vision or mission statement and are getting stuck, we’re here to help. We’ve combed over some of our favorite nonprofit mission statements and put together a fill-in-the-blank mission statement generator to help you get started. We recommend sharing this exercise and using the mission statement generator or worksheet below with multiple team members to get a variety of perspectives on the work you do, and then aggregating the answers into one all-encompassing statement. But before we begin, some basics:
Vision Statement vs. Mission Statement
Perhaps you’ve already watched our video about the difference between a mission and vision statement, so you know that these two nonprofit essentials should be very different — at least when speaking internally. Give a quick listen to our podcast while thinking it through:
Vision = What are we working towards?
Our vision is a world where ______________.
Your vision is the destination. Why does your organization exist? What is the big, huge, ambitious impact you want to make on the world? What will be the reason you’re around 100 years from now? How will the world look if you’re successful? Vision statements can usually be prefaced with the phrases “A world where…” or “We exist so that…”
Example Vision Statement: Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Mission = How are we going to get there?
Our mission is to ____(what)_____ for ___(who)______ by ___(how)______.
Your mission is the journey. Your mission hones in on your organization’s goals, strategies, and the community that you aim to serve to define the fundamental purpose of the organization. An effective mission statement must answer the following:
- Who do you exist for?
- What are you trying to achieve for them?
- How will you achieve it?
Put another way, your mission is a short, direct and compelling way to state your theory of change or the core strategy for your organization and your unique path towards your vision. It provides the link between what you do day-to-day and what you hope to achieve long-term. Your mission can evolve over time depending on where your journey takes you.
Example Mission Statement: Karam Foundation’s mission is to restore the dignity and quality of life for people affected by conflict by eliminating barriers to success through innovative education, entrepreneurial development, and community-driven aid.
In SSIR’s Mission Matters Most, experts Kim Jonker and William F. Meehan take this one step further to outline seven characteristics to guide the most effective mission statements, including:
- Be focused
- Solve unmet public needs
- Leverage unique skills
- Guide trade-offs
- Inspire, and be inspired by, key stakeholders
- Anticipate change
- Stick in memory
Ready? Let’s go…
Mission Statement Generator
Our mission is to what: (1) IMPACT for who: (2) AUDIENCE by how: (3) ACTIONS.
1. Impact: The change you want to create, starting with an action verb.
- discover life-saving treatment
- improve the lives
- protect and build a better future
- ensure safety and conservation
2. Audience: The specific community that you serve or want to create change for.
- people living with lung cancer
- women and girls in developing countries
- immigrants born outside the US who came here as children
- endangered animals
3. Action(s): The 1-3 core strategies your org uses to make progress towards your vision and create your impact, starting with “ing” verbs.
- funding young investigators, providing resources, and building partnerships
- fighting for access to girls’ education and providing workforce development programs and training
- providing free legal services and advocating for the rights of immigrants through national and local legislation
- educating, inspiring, and engaging a global community
Could this be any easier?
Just in case you don’t have a typewriter at home, we have a fun form to see how this might look for your organization.
Fill in the blanks: Our mission is to do what for who by (3) how: A, B, and C actions.
For more information or to take this back to your team, download our Nonprofit Vision and Mission Worksheet which includes:
- Vision vs. mission brainstorm guide
- Vision statement guide
- Mission statement generator
Fresh and ready to be shared with your team, your boss, or your board. Get the mission statement generator and the worksheet below.